Social media is everywhere and it’s certainly come a long way from the days of MySpace and Friends Reunited. The self-indulgence of social media has taken a backseat to advertising, with some of the biggest brands in the world using the most popular sites for promotion and smaller brands seeing social media as a platform for breaking into the competitive market. But which social media network is the best for building a brand?
All posts in Branding
Branding is not just about your company logo. It encompasses everything that your company does and highlights to customers what makes you unique within the marketplace. An effective branding strategy will lead to a successful marketing campaign, raising brand awareness and increasing customer retention. This step-by-step guide will describe the basics of putting together a brand.
What Are You Branding?
This might seem obvious but you need to decide whether you are branding the company or a single product. The best approach is to have an over-arching company brand that can then be filtered down to your individual products. This will help achieve a more consistent feel to the company.
Do Your Research
Before you implement a brand you need to ensure that you know exactly who your target market is and what they like and dislike. Conducting market research will provide you with these answers and ensure you don’t waste money aiming the brand at the wrong consumers.
Have a Clear Vision
You need to know where the brand is heading and your vision for the future. This includes defining the company’s values and what exactly you’re offering customers. At this point, you should also be able to confirm the brand name, if you haven’t already, as this will become an integral part of the strategy.
If you try and appeal successfully to everyone then you will probably fail, so it’s crucial that you decide where you fit in the marketplace. Establishing your target customer and how you differentiate from your competitors will highlight where you are best positioned and help to develop your marketing strategy. This will draw all the branding together and enable you to decide how you’ll implement your plan.
Visualise Your Message
The branding and messaging are key to the design of the logo. Consumers will forget most of the promotional messages they are bombarded with every day, so your company or product needs to be memorable. Ensure that your logo is simple, clear and highlights exactly what you’re offering.
The Big Launch
Once all the hard work is out of the way, it’s time to have some fun and launch your brand. You might be ready to serve your customers but if they don’t know you exist they won’t come. Make sure that you get your timing right and implement a public-relations programme to publicise the launch. Branding is what makes you memorable to customers, so you need to ensure that you get it right. Even after the launch you should be constantly evolving your brand and ensuring it remains
fresh and relevant.
(books image by gnackgnackgnack on Flickr)
Many are wondering how does a review from our experts look like. Here are reviews for website www.jdaigle.com (with approval of Jean Daigle, an Idealinput customer). His site was sent to two of our experts and here are the review from our expert Sionne Roberts and Jean-Pierre Veilleux:
REVIEW #1 (from expert Sionne Robert)
1. My first impression
The first impression provided by this Web site is of a “standard, template-driven” Web presence for a real estate professional.
2. What is good/the positives
This business Web site appears to be professional, makes solid use of visual imagery and is consistent in terms of the branding elements for Exit Realty Associates overall
3. What could be better/where to improve
There is definitely an opportunity to make better use of the screen area within this Web site’s layout. Currently the main section is occupied by a stock photo image, which while attractive does not offer significant value to the user/site visitor. This image could be reduced in size ( or eliminated altogether) and more effectively replaced with more-engaging content, for example:
* testimonials and/or quotes from satisfied clients
* introductory “Welcome Letter” to visitors, in text or even video format
* excerpted biographical information text from the About Us section
* upcoming Open Houses that prospective clients can attend
* details of recent transactions, ie. clients’ homes sold in a short period of time at or above the asking price, etc
* a carousel or slider section, where a series of Featured Listing is displayed on a rotating basis instead of only one at a time in the existing page layout
4. Client’s questions addressed:
CLIENT QUESTION #1 – “Does my web site motivate my target market to make business with me?”
ANSWER #1 – Unfortunately it does not however this issue is easily solved. The existing Web presence is best described as an online brochure, and can become a Selling Tool with the simple inclusion of a basic Call To Action (CTA) on the Web site. For example adding a Contact Me Today! button would more directly encourage visitors to connect and inquire about doing business.
When utilizing a CTA, it is important to consider the following elements:
Motivation > What motivates your users? How and why did they arrive at your Web site, and what are their expectations plus desired outcomes from the visitation activity?
Value Proposition > What are you proposing or offering to the site visitor? Is this value proposition being made clear – and also appealing – to them?
Incentive > In order to achieve a conversion (by having the Web site visitor respond to the CTA) you need to ensure the user can be confident the result of their action will be worth the time/effort involved. One way to accomplish this is by offering a relevant incentive that highlights or drives the CTA response.
CLIENT QUESTION #2 – “Should I be more specific in order to attract my target market.”
ANSWER #2 – Absolutely. Focusing on specifics – key benefits of choosing you over another real estate professional, your unique competitive advantage(s) and validated, quantifiable reasons for working with you instead of others – will definitely support the objective of generating leads + business from the “First time buyers and people close to retirement who wants to sell their homes and downsize (smaller home, condo and townhouse)” market segments. In the existing version of your Web site there is nothing to distinguish your focus on the desired target audience, and a visitor is not instantly made aware who your real estate services are best suited to benefit.
This can potentially be addressed with targeted headline copy and consistent messaging throughout the site….consider using “Your expert resource for first time buyers and downsizing clients” as an alternative tag line instead of the (quite generic) “Your satisfaction is at the heart of my work!”.
Another benefit of doing so will be to distinguish yourself from a Search Engine Marketing perspective. Making only a few copy changes will not be sufficient to significantly improve your ranking placement within organic search results, meaning appearing in cases where prospective clients are actively searching online for a real estate professional who serves the “first time buyers and downsizing clients” market segment. But this would be the first step in an overall integrated Online Marleting program that can eventually generate many new business inquiries from desirable leads visiting your Web site, all on a cost-effective and non-time-intensive basis.
REVIEW #2 (from expert Jean-Pierre Veilleux)
1. First impression
The site offers an adequate first impression. It seems to present itself as being a mid-market offering, avoiding the excessive graphical ornamentation that is sometimes displayed on such sites. The look is not particularly modern, nor is it retro. An OK balance.
On the whole, it is par for the course.
Personally, I would reduce the size (depth) of the banner at the top of the page. It occupies too much of the page’s key landing zone and is repeated on each page.
The choice of the night shot of Moncton would likely not inspire buyers. Depending on the profile of your clientele, (e.g., commercial vs. industrial vs. residential), the image should be chosen to reflect their priorities. Better yet, a slider feature could rotate images automatically every 5 seconds or, you could design each page with a different image reflecting different market segments/customer audience profiles.
2. What is good
The site packs a lot of information, functionality and extras, like the mortgage calculator.
The whole toolbox is a good idea and regroups most of this functionality and features into one spot. It is well-placed and prominent on the page.
It also leverages social media channels. This makes a lot of sense as people tell other people/friends and families about listings.
3. What could be improved
Everything is quite small: photos and text, and even the mortgage calculator.
I do not quite understand the idea of the LISTING NOTIFIER. To me this title/label be about users being able to subscribe to email notifications for each new listing. This would be a good feature to add.
REGISTRATIONS on the navigation menu is mislabeled and implies that one must register with the site. It should just be called CURRENT LISTINGS or something similar
HOME FOR SALE similarly is mislabeled. It implies that this is a listing of homes for sale. It should be called something like SEARCHING FOR A HOME. Also, it is inconsistent with the label in the footer where “HOMES” is plural.
BUYING and SELLING, should be re-labeled BUYING TIPS and SELLING TIPS.
ON THE FRENCH SIDE
NOUS JOINDRE in the footer area should be CONTACTEZ-NOUS
While I did not conduct a thorough review of the site content to try to detect errors, some things immediately jumped out at me:
• There is a typo on the French navigation button (missing “P”) “Inscri_tion” should be corrected.
• “Bienvenue à mon site web”. Here, either the “a” needs an accent grave, or better, it should be replace by the word “sur”.
Note: A thorough proofreading exercise of the French should be conducted, both for grammar and spelling.
MONCTON REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST is an entirely generic descriptor that does nothing to position you apart from 98% of other real estate agents and brokers in Moncton. You require a compelling and differentiating brand promise and value proposition that will hopefully serve to tell people why they should consider doing business with you.
From a technical perspective, given the nature of your business and the profile of the users who will interact with your site, the website should make use of responsive design principles.
A responsive design means a layout that responds well to different screen sizes such as iPad, tablets, Smart Phones and Desktop. It is a relatively new thing but it is critical now that the mobile devices are starting to be the premier way people access information online. It means essentially using proportion-based grids to adapt the layout to the viewing environment, and in most cases means using flexible images. As a result, users across a broad range of devices and browsers will have access to a single source of content, laid out so as to be easy to read and navigate with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling.
Receive that kind of feedback for your marketing at a fraction of the costs experts and consultants normally charges. Increase your sales and conversion rate.
Marketing is a crucial aspect of business. It is the main strategy of transforming a random individual into a potential client and establishing a brand. Due to the diverseness of business and markets, there are many different marketing methods. They are all applied differently and have different effectiveness depending on the particular target market. The success of your business is highly dependent on the effectiveness of your marketing.
Large businesses usually hire marketing executives and firms to employ their expertise in this field. Therefore, they are expected to have an easy time in marketing. Small and medium businesses on the other hand, usually have a hard time in marketing. Hiring top notch marketing executives and firms is too costly for such businesses. Therefore the small business entrepreneurs draft and manage most of the marketing strategies. This is obviously not as effectual as relying on experts for the marketing.
Transcendent marketing requires top notch marketing experts. Due to the lack of this, most small and medium businesses manage their marketing with stereotypical approaches. Although they may not notice this, they end up making common marketing mistakes which significantly reduce the marketing ROI. Some of the common small and medium business marketing mistakes include:
Focusing on the product features only: Some businesses only focus on advertising their products through their features. They state the features without thoroughly explaining on how beneficial the products are to the customers.
Doing routine marketing: If entrepreneurs are pleased with their marketing results, they implement the same marketing strategies many more times. This routine marketing gradually becomes boring and its effect on the market reduces.
Failing to define the USP: Although it may seem quite insignificant to most entrepreneurs, the Unique Selling Proposition largely dictates the market’s response to a particular product. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs do not include simple, creative USPs in their marketing campaigns.
Poor connection with the customers: The lack of a meritorious connection with the customers results into a poor understanding of the particular customer needs. You obviously cannot effectually strategize on your marketing if you don’t understand what your target customers want in your products.
Inadequate response to competition and market changes: If your competitor makes a step ahead in marketing, you have to make two. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs use rigid marketing strategies which react too slowly to competition or market change.
How can you avoid such marketing mistakes?
Because of the relatively low marketing budget, your options in improving the campaign may be limited. But this should not stop you from seeking a solid method to improve your marketing and boost your ROI. The best marketing improvement strategy for small and medium businesses is consulting transcendent marketing agencies like Idealinput.
Idealinput is an exceptional link between entrepreneurs and marketing experts. It therefore provides a platform where the entrepreneurs can take advantage of the expert services which large corporations mainly use. The marketing experts are suited to accurately review marketing materials from relevant angles and provide adequate feedback. Some of the marketing materials they review include:
Audio and video materials
These services are increasingly becoming popular among entrepreneurs especially due to their relatively low-cost. That’s one more reason why you should consider consulting Idealinput in building your brand through marketing.
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